Salt is a preservative, yet, salt is also to be preserved, mostly in the faith sense, but I suspect also in the cultural sense. So how do I contrast one life with another, or explain one life within the context and social confines of the next. Well, I must, if I want to be allowed to tell a story, or give a perspective.

As you said Gabe, saying that you found solace in the warlike nature of your tribe, versus the competing tribes, is not permitted in America. Nevertheless, it was of great solace to me. In our context it just happened to also be a racial difference.

So off I go, if If may, with talking about being part of an very warlike tribe in a very dangerous place. I said that I'd turn my back on members of my own tribe, who happened to have a racial difference, but treat the other tribes, who happen to have a racial difference, with presumption of hostile intention.

Okay, I'm used to being on the receiving end of "tough crowd." So moving on from differences which also involve race to general observations. Now, here I'm going to be politically incorrect in another sense, because I'm too honest for my own good.

Living with the big country attitudes is hard, coming from the small, mostly cohesive, group. I don't understand the constant competitiveness at all, even 23 years later, and after countless experiences. I'm not interested in competing with my countrymen, and never will be.

I like living simply, without materialism, but that is not at all the truth about all of my former countrymen. I'm a Durban chill dude, and in that way Im typical of my city and region of Kwa Zulu - Natal. Its a former colonial area, as distinct from the Trek Boer areas and cultures of South Africa, or the LA in Africa part.

Now to America. America has two main competing ideologies, and has affected the modern world with them. My least favourite (yes, we spell with more French spelling, like the English) one is the deification, justification and normalization of what the American psychologists call Self Actualization.

I was raised in WASP Presbyterian church where the Sunday School was thorough, and by far the best of what they had to offer. was grounded in God's dealings with that race of mankind that He chose to deal through. Now everyone's radar is going up, he has a race based religion. No I dont, it was exactly the same as anywhere those denominations deal on the planet.

At 18 I was born again of the Spirit of the Living God. No choice of mine, I went to the Youth meetings looking for a girl to meet. What I didn't really process was that the youth and the church of my parents had been infiltrated. Danish missionaries to the tribal areas just beyond our suburb had many sons. One, Peter Rasmussen, infiltrated the WASP church and must obviously have prayed over their efforts.

I was in the back, mouthing the words and blushing, feeling very out of place with this joy and emotion. Next thing I don't know what happened, i was infiltrated by God himself. My eyes were opened. I was so relieved because I realized then that I had already become part of the world, and knew its ways. In fact, i was already weary of its ways, tired of that finite future that awaited me.

Let me back up a bit, i was in the News Agent before this happened and found satanic occult books that promised to teach you power over people. I bought three or four to study. Now a whole dimension of infinity was opened up to me and I was so relieved and joyfull that my future was not just the world as I had perceived it to be.

You do things differently, I would sob on my bed as God melted my hard heart. When a black man, with his semen on his hands, came to me to ask for money I felt compassion for him. I knew that he has jerked off to relieve his oppression at the hands of a brutal racist regime.

The next thing i was off the the military, having just spent 4 years in boarding school and one year commuting to high school. We didn't know what to expect and the military made you very hard. You were in there with all white South Africans, many of them raised the polar opposite to you. We "English" would try and debate with Afrikaners and it didn't work. The vast majority were raised to "stick to their guns" in any discussion, while we were raised to justify our assertions.
When challenged on this their Machismo was "A mans would is but his word."

I became very hardened in the military and gained a habit of beer. Learned so much and won the passage to early adulthood. We were very mature for our age and when Cheryl and I married at 21 it was no more drinking and off to a truly great church under a truly great Man of God. When others were running around doing the young thing we were housing her orphan brother, buying homes and growing big time spiritually. By the time I was 25 people at work would arbitrarily come up to me to ask spiritual questions.

Then, it was travelling Europe and a change of work to Surf Life-guarding, one of only two married lifeguards out of 40. There I was liked and treated well by watermen who were light years ahead of me in the art. It was a very big honour that they treated me well even though they were incredible athletes and men of renown, of whom legends are made. The brotherhood of such unquestionably courageous men was awesome!

I had only seen such men in hard core military units, Recces, 32 Battalion, Parachute, Mechanized, Infantry and the infamous, bloody, Police Koevoet units. What was different about the Life-guards was they were in the game of public safety. I just loved that field ever since, as a swimming pools Superintendent, as a Red Cross EMT/Medic, as an American Medic in the ER, on the road and as Fire-Medic. As a corrections nurse, hospital nurse and substance abuse nurse. I never looked back.

Now for the other aspects of America, and the ones that i do relate to. Read a lot of Lois L'Amour and got into gun magazines and then Soldier of Fortune, all starting at age 10 or 11. Got Gods stuff figured, and have the pioneering mentality in common with some Americans. Travelling Europe for 7 months and working illegally in England had opened us up from small city mentality to more global.

So, that's the other side of America, very active in the sphere of religion, and the things of God. Now Revival had swept South Africa when i was a teen, and I think saved it from civil war in coming years. You went into churches so full of love you were drunk in it. You just wanted with all your heart and soul to have what these people had. God had a VERY high reputation among all South Africans. You were hungry for church, loved to listen to and hung on every word of our pastor.

So now we are safe in America, a very grateful and glad for it. I'm not so sure our spirits are in good hands in America though. And so, we don't go to church anymore. in the workplace too the self-proclaimed christians have been the worst back-stabbers. Eek. Wish I could give a better report on that.

We have been very into God's predictions for the modern world and the information at our fingertips is amazing. Understanding theological issues etc too. But man, heresies abound and, knowing God's warnings about this age, we see His predictions coming to pass before our eyes, in a society.

Of course, South Africa didn't stay the same during that time either. you were facing HUGE change, whether you stayed or left. That's what the people who chose the status quo miscalculated on. If you are going to undergo change you should at least benefit from it.

I could go on, if anyone had a question. otherwise, please excuse my presumption and my critique.